Jennifer Lawrence has spoken out about the wave of sexual misconduct allegations that have swept through Hollywood and swamped the nation in recent months.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, published Wednesday for the Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue, the 27-year-old actress unveiled her initiative to form a “commission” of women to serve as a support network for victims of sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. As part of her movement, she proposes that lines of communication between actresses are opened up and rules put in place as a preventive measure against abusive behavior.
“How can there be rules in place where there are certain ways that you just cannot treat people? Or a commission, somebody that they can call? If every A-list actor decides to join this commission, we know everybody in the industry,” Lawrence said to Winfrey.
“I know every studio head in town. If I’m on this commission, and [if] I get an email about somebody being treated badly on a set, I can send an email. We have to all put our heads together and figure out how to not let this moment go, not just be like, ‘Oh, well, that was crazy.’ Something has to really get done.”
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This comes after Lawrence shared her own story of harassment, in which she revealed that she was told to stand in a “nude line-up” when auditioning for a part in a movie. Speaking about the ordeal at an Elle event in October, Lawrence described the experience as “degrading and humiliating,” especially as the female producer suggested that she should consider dieting to lose some weight.
“In a dream world, everyone is treated with the exact same level of respect. But, until we reach that goal, I will lend my ear. I will lend my voice to any boy, girl, man or woman who doesn’t feel like they can protect themselves.”
Her speech was delivered in the same month that the New York Times published their bombshell report, detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, who was executive producer on 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook starring Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
During her interview with Winfrey, Lawrence reflected on her time working with Weinstein, who she has known since she was 20, admitting that she needed time to process the news of the allegations.
“There was this moment when all of this broke out and everybody was silent, and then all of a sudden, every actress’ Twitter was blowing up with, ‘You need to come forward and you need to say something and you need to condemn!'” the Oscar-winning actress said of her experience.
“Which is true: We do have a responsibility to say something; we’ve all worked with him, but everybody needed a moment.”
Lawrence said that while Weinstein was known to be “a dog, a tough guy, a brute,” he had almost been like a father to her, making the widespread news all the more difficult to digest. However, she acknowledged that she “felt sick” when the New Yorker published an audio tape of Weinstein pressuring model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez into watching him in the shower.
“He was paternal to me. So I needed a moment to process everything because I thought I knew this guy, and then he’s being accused of rape.”
“The abuse, from so many different people – it’s directors, it’s producers – that I think everybody needed to [process it],” she added. “Everybody needs to deal with this in their own way; everybody needs to heal.”
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, with 13 women accusing him of sexual assault and rape.
In light of the overwhelming number of allegations against him, the disgraced movie producer was fired from his own company, The Weinstein Company, with many other board members choosing to resign.